If you smoked a whole turkey or a breast for Thanksgiving and have an abundance of meat leftover your crew will enjoy this tasty smoky, barbecue stew. If you don’t have turkey on hand, pop a breast in the smoker this weekend, and then make a pot of this savory stew. It took about 3 hours to smoke a turkey breast on our Big Green Egg. The smoky flavor imparted makes the perfect Brunswick stew.
What's in its Name? The History of Brunswick Stew
There are as many versions of this delicious fall stew and meat combinations as there are stories about the origin of Brunswick stew. Brunswick County, Virginia claims to have created the stew in the 1800s during a hunting excursion. It contained squirrel and was prepared outdoors for the hunters over an open fire. The earliest versions were usually made with available wild game: rabbit, squirrel, and even opossum. Georgia traditionally includes a combination of meats, including pork or beef in their tasty version. In fact, the stew may precede early American history altogether. In Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings book, Cross Creek Cookery, she states that Brunswick stew was known to be a favorite dish of Queen Victoria, 1819-1901, and thus can be traced to Brunswick (Braunschweig) in old Germany.
Chicken stew is loved throughout the southern United States to this day. It is often made and sold at community fund raising events. Today, you don’t have to live in Brunswick, Georgia, Brunswick County, Virginia, Braunschweig, Germany or even in the south to appreciate a good chicken or turkey stew with a hint of barbecue flavor.
Regardless of its origin, it has remained a favorite fall stew for generations. I included a cup of my original barbecue sauce recipe and smoked turkey for this signature version, I hope you will enjoy. How do you like your Brunswick stew?
Smoked Turkey Brunswick Stew Recipe
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
5 cups smoked turkey breast, shredded
2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 ½ cups diced Yukon gold potatoes
2 cups mixed vegetables, frozen (corn, baby lima or butter beans, green peas, green beans, carrot)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the diced onion in the oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Shred the smoked turkey meat in a food processor or by hand.
3. Add the shredded smoked turkey meat, and remaining ingredients to the stock pot and stir.
4. Bring the stew to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours or until potatoes and vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally.
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.